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productDNA:Hub questions and answers

All you need to know about the UK retail industry’s single source of trusted data

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What is productDNA:hub?

productDNA:hub is the UK retail industry’s single source of trusted data. It is based around three components:

  • It provides a single industry catalogue of product data and images
  • All product data is independently audited and verified to ensure accuracy and quality
  • Suppliers share this product data and images with retailers in a consistent format
Who owns and manages productDNA:hub?

productDNA:hub owned and governed by the retail industry, and is managed by GS1 UK on their behalf.

What industries will use productDNA:hub?

productDNA:hub has been built for the retail industry. It was specified by a group of leading grocery retailers and suppliers who shared the common need for high quality data and a standardised way of listing their products.

At launch the service will cover the specific needs of the grocery sector. GS1 UK is working with other sectors within retail to understand their specific needs and to agree the product attributes required to describe their products. We will announce a roadmap covering more sectors in 2018.

How does productDNA:hub benefit suppliers?
  • productDNA:hub provides a single way for suppliers to share product data and images with retailers
  • Suppliers can choose how they input their data into productDNA:hub
  • Suppliers own their product data and images and are not commercially constrained by third-party content providers
  • productDNA:hub improves supply chain efficiencies resulting in considerable cost savings across the industry – estimated at over £200 million in unnecessary costs and lost sales
  • By eliminating the need to provide data in different formats to each retailer and other inefficiencies, suppliers can focus on what really matters to them: product development and innovation
How does productDNA:hub benefit retailers?
  • productDNA:hub offers retailers an easy way to access high quality, independently verified product data they can trust
  • Retailers can provide a better experience for shoppers by providing accurate and consistent product information and images through every channel, in-store and online
  • productDNA:hub improves supply chain efficiencies resulting in considerable cost savings across the industry – estimated at over £200 million in unnecessary costs and lost sales
  • By removing unnecessary workarounds and other inefficiencies from checking suppliers’ products and associated data, retailers can focus on what really matters to them: providing a better customer experience through innovation
How does productDNA:hub benefit the shopper?
  • Shoppers will be able to tailor their searches based on individual needs and feel confident in the results they see
  • Shoppers will see complete and comprehensive information and content about all products, across all channels
  • Shoppers will be able to compare products and easily see alternatives
  • Shoppers will make informed decisions based on their preferences, including health and wellbeing, lifestyle and sustainability
When will productDNA:hub be available?

productDNA:hub will be implemented by a small group of early adopters from early 2018. A full industry launch is planned for spring 2018.

All retailers and suppliers can register their interest today at www.gs1uk.org/productdnahub.

Who will be using productDNA:hub from early 2018?

In July 2017, GS1 UK announced that 12 companies – Co-op, Itsu, L’Oréal, Mondelēz, Nestlé, Ocado, PepsiCo, P&G, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Unilever and Waitrose – had all signed an industry charter committing themselves to adopting a single industry-owned product data catalogue.

Members of this group will be implementing the service from early 2018, ahead of the full industry launch in spring 2018.

How much does productDNA:hub cost to use?

In July 2017, GS1 UK announced that 12 companies – Co-op, Itsu, L’Oréal, Mondelēz, Nestlé, Ocado, PepsiCo, P&G, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Unilever and Waitrose – had all signed an industry charter committing themselves to adopting a single industry-owned product data catalogue.

The rate card for productDNA:hub will be published in early 2018. As an industry-owned and governed service, all prices are agreed by the industry group and will be kept as low as possible for retailers and suppliers of all sizes.

The goal of productDNA:hub is not to yield commercial return to shareholders but to provide retailers and suppliers with a single way of managing and sharing quality product data that will allow them to improve their operations and deliver a better customer experience.

How is productDNA:hub industry-owned and industry-governed?

productDNA:hub is owned and governed by the retail industry through the GS1 UK Retail Grocery Advisory Board, which is made up of 17 leading UK retailers and brands. The Board has requested that GS1 UK manages productDNA:hub on their behalf for the benefit of the retail industry.

GS1 UK is a community of over 33,000 members and is one of 112 independent, not-for-profit GS1 organisations operating across 150 countries worldwide. GS1 UK helps industries such as retail and healthcare transform the way they work and serve their customers through the provision of open, global standards.

How does productDNA:hub differ from DigitalDNA?

DigitalDNA is the name of an industry programme that the GS1 UK Retail Grocery Advisory Board sponsored and co-funded. The purpose of the programme was to research and understand the issue of product data management across the UK retail industry, and to identify the best solution for the benefit of all retailers, suppliers and ultimately, the shoppers. productDNA:hub is the result of this programme. The service addresses the issues and needs that were identified through the DigitalDNA industry programme.

How do retailers and suppliers sign up to productDNA:hub?

All retailers and suppliers can register their interest today at www.gs1uk.org/productDNAhub.

As retailers implement productDNA:hub they will communicate directly with their suppliers, inviting them to provide their product data via the productDNA:hub service.

Are product images included in productDNA:hub?

productDNA:hub enables multiple images to be stored against each product. These can be uploaded by suppliers and accessed by authorised retailers.

How does productDNA:hub differ from My Numberbank?

My Numberbank is a service provided free of charge to all GS1 UK members. It allows members to allocate unique product identifiers called GTINS (Global Trade Item Numbers) to all their products. Seven product attributes are required for each GTIN (product name, main brand, sub-brand, description, web link to the product, MPN (Manufacturer’s Part Number) and SKU (Stock Keeping Unit)).

My Numberbank is increasingly used by online retailers, online marketplaces and healthcare catalogue providers to check the validity of the GTIN used in their product catalogues.

productDNA:hub defines and manages far more product data. At launch there will be 150 data attributes for products across the grocery sector, including product data such as dimensions, weight and volume, as well as ingredients, nutritional values and allergen information. Additionally, productDNA:hub also allows suppliers and retailers to share this product data between them in a controlled manner, respecting commercial agreements between retailer and supplier.

How will productDNA:hub work with TrueSource?

TrueSource is a GDSN-certified data pool service from GS1 UK. It has been used for many years, mainly in the foodservice industry and for suppliers to some international retailers. Subscribers to TrueSource will be able to publish their GDSN data to productDNA:hub where it can be amended in line with the UK grocery sector data model used by productDNA:hub.


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